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Hawaii football coach Todd Graham still has job despite numerous complaints of abusive behavior


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Hawaii football coach Todd Graham still has job despite numerous complaints of abusive behavior


Todd Graham, “hands down the worst guy I’ve ever met in my life,” says one player.Image: AP

Todd Graham answers the question that absolutely no one was asking.

What if there was a version of Urban Meyer that didn’t really win?

While Meyer himself answered that question in his NFL stint this past year, Graham, the University of Hawaii head football coach, gives us the NCAA response that we weren’t waiting for.

In a state senate hearing on Friday night regarding the state of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors’ football program, the toxic culture that Graham has somehow managed to foster in just two seasons was laid bare by upset former players. After losing 19 players to the transfer portal, and getting called, among other things, “a tyrant” and “hands down the worst guy I’ve ever met in my life,” Graham’s boss, Hawaii athletic director David Matlin, decided it was time to go down swinging for this dude.

According to a report from The Athletic, Matlin listened to hours of player testimony about verbal abuse from Graham and mental health issues stemming from his behavior, the athletic director decided to tell the virtually gathered group of players, families, and state senators, “not everything that was said was true,” and then proceeded to complain about testimony being allowed at all. Former athletes and their families were baring their hearts, talking about how their love of football had diminished under Graham’s excessively poor treatment of his players that could really only be described as bullying, and Matlin wrote them off.

As I’ve waxed on about on this site time and time again, these “student-athletes” are already in a largely powerless position, so to take away their mere ability to openly share their experiences regarding a coach’s alleged verbal abuse and feel heard rather than have their issues brushed off is just a terrible move on the part of Matlin. He’s defending a coach who has gone 11-11, and while that’s certainly not to say that abusive behavior is acceptable in cases where a team is successful, it’s a bit of a mystery where Matlin’s motivation for this…



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